Walking Tall appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Though not a bad presentation, the image fell short of greatness.
Overall sharpness seemed positive, as the majority of the film offered nice clarity and accuracy. However, mild edge haloes created distractions that also reduced definition to a small degree.
No signs of jagged edges or moiré effects appeared, but a smattering of print flaws cropped up on occasion. These stayed mild and infrequent.
Colors went toward a low-key semi-teal orientation, with some broader hues on occasion. The tones seemed well-rendered within the design choices.
Blacks looked dark and deep, while shadows showed fairly nice smoothness. The edge haloes and print flaws knocked the transfer down a few pegs, but it remained more than watchable.
For the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Walking Tall, I found a generally positive piece, one where the soundfield stayed mostly oriented toward the forward channels. There they presented nice delineation and separation, as the music gave us solid stereo imaging, and the effects were spread broadly and convincingly.
The surrounds played a minor role and mostly came into the action with the smattering of more active sequences like when Chris trashes the casino. The rear speakers supported the material in a decent way but usually didn’t add a tremendous amount to the tale.
Audio quality appeared strong, as speech consistently came across as natural and concise, and I noticed no signs of edginess or problems with intelligibility. Effects sounded distinctive and accurate, with appropriate range and good low-end as necessary.
Music fared best, which was important given the film’s preponderance of montages. The score and songs both presented lively and bright tones with nice definition and force. Overall, the track didn’t seem exceptional, but it worked well for the material.
All the original DVD extras repeat here, and the disc presents two separate audio commentaries. The first comes from actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, as he offers a running, screen-specific affair in which he talks about his interest in the project, why they changed the name of his character, some acting and character choices, working with the others, and staging the fight sequences.
An outsized personality, the Rock fashions himself as something of a comedian, and he makes many wisecracks throughout the conversation. He especially loves to joke that actor John Beasley is really George Foreman. If I took a drink every time he made that crack, I’d be wasted by the end of the commentary.
Most of the jokes aren’t funny, and the track still suffers from too much dead air. Nonetheless, it offers an improvement over what I expected and seems entertaining enough, at least for fans.
We also find a commentary from director Kevin Bray, director of photography Glen MacPherson, and editor Robert Ivison. All three sit together for their running, screen-specific chat, though MacPherson arrives late.
They go through some fairly basic subjects. They discuss variations from the original movie, sets, locations, editing, musical choices, stunts and various other production elements.
A reasonable amount of information appears during this chat, but honestly, it doesn’t feel like it adds up to much. The men remain low-key and the commentary never builds much momentum.
That comes partially from their subdued style but also from the sporadic gaps that slow the piece. The track offers some decent rudiments of the production but little that seems revealing or intriguing appears.
Next we get a collection of three Deleted Scenes and an Alternate Ending. For the former, we find “Black Jack” (0:49), “He Hurts People” (0:17) and “It’s Not Your Fault” (0:34).
We see a little more of the fun at the casino plus a very short chat in which Deni tries to dissuade Chris from running for sheriff as well as a little bonding between Chris and Pete. None of them add much.
Called “The Porch”, the alternate ending lasts only one minute, 20 seconds. It features Chris and Ray as they shoot the breeze on the former’s family porch. Despite the clip’s brevity, it’s too long for this kind of tale and deserved to be cut, as it would’ve ended the movie on a very dull note.
For a featurette, we head to Fight the Good Fight. It runs eight minutes, 44 seconds and looks into the flick’s stunts.
After an introduction from the Rock, we get a mix of movie shots, behind the scenes elements, and interviews. We hear from Bray, who leads us through the styles of the fights, and also get notes from the Rock, stunt coordinator Jeff Habberstad, and actor Neal McDonough.
Some minor tidbits appear, like Bray’s early plan to replace the block of wood with an aluminum bat, but a lot of the piece just consists of praise for the lack of smooth choreography and special effects, as everyone tells us how raw the fights were.
Habberstad tosses out a decent overview of the process, though, and the shots from the set offer some fun material. “Fight” lacks depth but it merits a look.
A set of bloopers fills 48 seconds. We get a few goofs from the Rock and that’s it.
In the Photo Gallery, we discover 46 pictures. These mix shots from the set with publicity images and they add little to the package.
Finally, the trailer for Tall appears, as do promos for Barbershop, Barbershop 2, Black Eagle, Blast, Chokeslam, Crazy Six, Lionheart, Man From Earth: Holocene, Out of Time, Return of Swamp Thing and The Violence Movie.
Since I never saw the original Walking Tall with Joe Don Baker, I can’t compare it to the 2004 remake, but I must imagine that the old flick surpassed the new one. Dwayne Johnson displays an engaging personality, but otherwise the film offers little life or excitement, as it just seems predictable and underdeveloped. The Blu-ray offers generally good picture along with strong audio and a decent selection of supplements. This winds up as a passable release for a mediocre movie.
To rate this film, visit the original review of WALKING TALL